Tuesday notes

Aug 8, 2017 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

No rush

The calendar still says early August. Strictly speaking, we have only just passed the official halfway point of summer. Still, the weather the past few days, especially in the evenings, has not seemed particularly summery.

Signs of the speeding season are all around us, both in the weather and in our planning and activities.

Fair enough, but let's not be in a big hurry. This is the only summer we've got this year.

Eclipse special

Our next big summer event locally is the expected mass arrival of visitors to central Wyoming, including Fremont County, related to the once-in-a-lifetime total eclipse of the sun. While millions of people in North America must travel north, south, east or west to view the spectacular celestial happening, all we have to do in the Wind River Basin is look up. (Go outside first.)

The promised influx of humanity could well prove to be a spectacle equal to the solar blackout itself. Soon we'll see if the people predictions are on target. The great American eclipse is 13 days away.

We will continue to have regular news coverage in the daily Ranger, and we also plan a special edition about the eclipse and preparations for it. Look for that nextWednesday, August 16.

Fair Scrapbook

Exhibitors were packing up their possessions, clearing out the exhibit halls, taking the livestock home or to the sale barn, cleaning up, packing up, and buttoning up the county fairgrounds after another fun week-plus at the fair.

We have one more front-page photo spread on the fair today, and we encourage fair participants and spectators to inquire about reprints of Ranger pictures of the fair. We published a lot of them, but we shot many, many more. Chances are, we pointed the camera at the thing you were interested in, even if it didn't end up in print.

Along those lines, it's been a busy summer for special editions, but we've got more to come. Also coming up is our annual Fremont County Fair Scrapbook. As always, the goal is to publish the results of every judged competition at the fair.

We'll be mixing in another good selection of county fair photographs as well for this publication. It proves to be a "keeper" every year, and with good reason. Once the eclipse mania has subsided week after next, we will be putting out the scrapbook before August is done.

We all scream for ice cream

Your daily newspaper staff enjoyed itsSaturday afternoon duties in judging the county fair ice cream contest again this year. We had a good turnout of teams, a lot of walk-by spectator interest, and some of the most enjoyable "work" that you can find on aSaturdayafternoon - sampling homemade ice cream.

The ice cream contest is a much-anticipated highlight of our newspaper year, and we appreciate again the opportunity to do it. Look for some words and pictures about it soon.

West Nile

A familiar sound around the streets of Riverton this time of year is the city's mosquito-fogging truck. It's not everyone's favorite sound or smell, but last week Fremont County Weed and Pest reminded everyone why it's being done. West Nile virus has been confirmed among some trapped mosquitoes.

This is a virus that's not to be messed with. It can be passed on too easily from mosquitoes to people, it can make a lot of people sick, it can do permanent damage, and, as we have learned sadly over the past 15 years or so, it also can kill.

This is the time of year when we spend so much more time outdoors, drastically increasing the likelihood that we will encounter mosquitoes, now including those which carry West Nile virus. Please, please, please observe the primary methods of mosquito protection: dress appropriately, limit activity if you can in the early morning and early evening hours, use mosquito repellent and minimize opportunities for mosquitoes to hatch by eliminating areas of standing water on your property where ever possible.

Paid obituaries

Readers may remember an editorial July 21 announcing The Ranger's plan to convert to a paid obituary system. That plan takes effect next week-Tuesday, Aug.15.

We get many more obituaries submitted to us than we used to, zapped with ease to our newsroom through e-mail from sources far and wide. They come in many different lengths, styles and formats - and expectations. Plus, they are longer and longer all the time.

We no longer feel able to edit them to the news standards of the paper, and we find increasing resistance to that process from families who, understandably, want the obituary they send to be published exactly as they send it.

So, obituaries are going to become paid propositions beginning next week. We'll still run the basic death notices in our "Today in Fremont County" column, but the larger obits will be paid space.

We plan to re-publish that July 21 editorial again this week, and we are running a daily advertisement (it's on page 5 today) to inform our readers of the transition.

Here's to a good week.

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